Laurence Edwards was a cyclist - not a tourer or a racer but a cyclist. He loved his bike and he loved the fact that you could cycle rather than walk to see a friend, to the shops to buy a packet of biscuits, ice cream or a newspaper!
Laurence who lived in Cottenham was a family friend of Ruth Brannan, one of the co-founders of You Can Bike Too and died earlier this year aged 84 after suffering from various medical problems including a stroke, COPD, and joint problems.
We remember him well and it is his quote on the front page of our website describing his love of cycling.
"It makes me feel human again and like I belong"- Laurence Edwards
Laurence never gave up on his ambition to get back on his bike! Ruth had helped him into a wheelchair about two weeks before he died. He was wanting to visit Ruth's mother who lived nearby the care home he was staying in after a few weeks in hospital recovering from an infection. Laurence's speech was not always easy to understand but on the return journey to the care home he told Ruth that he would be back on his bike "as soon as the flat tyre is sorted on my bike...it just needs pumping up ....I will then be able to cycle to see your mum" ...unfortunately this never happened as Laurence became too unwell but his heart was in it.
A few weeks prior to this Laurence had taken great delight at hearing all about the Mayor Gerri Bird's bike adventure to the Reach Fair in a wheelchair transporter bike...one of You Can Bike Toos amazing bikes...he was always asking "what's happening now?...what's the next 'big thing'"!
Laurence cycled as a boy....cycled all his life...he lived as a lodger in Ruth's home as she was growing up - she remembers him always sorting out punctures - (Ruth is one of 5 girls - all had bikes!) Laurence taught Ruth how to do this. Ruth is sure her love of cycling came from Laurence!
Laurence was buried with his cycle clips, bike pump and jar of Vegemite ( his very favourite spread!)
At Laurence's funeral it was decided that instead of flowers that people could, if they wished donate to either one of Laurence's favourite charities, one was You Can Bike Too - £200 was raised. The project are going to put this money to good use getting more people cycling! Thank you to all the lovely friends and relatives of Laurence that kindly contributed to a You Can Bike Too.
Laurence's own bike has also been donated to the project - because of Laurence's joint problems he had a 'step through' bike - bought locally from the amazing OWL project. Laurence did not believe in spending much money!
Thank you Laurence for your 'gift' of enthusiasm for pedal power ...it is now being shared not just within Ruth's family, but in Cambridge, and around the nation via You Can Bike Too!